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I once worked with an American who I once caught making a cup of tea. Instead of using the nice convenient kettle, he put a mug of cold water in the microwave and was completely surprised when I pointed the kettle out and told him what it was for. At least he should get some points for drinking tea in the first place.
When in the States, I'm always surprised when I ask for tea and get a cup of warm water and a separate tea bag.
|Nicey replies: I sense we have tapped a rich seam of anecdotes here.|
In response to your strange "discovery" that the Americans don't have electric kettles, may I say that as a proud Canadian, electric kettles DO exist in North America. Many of my friends have them in their kitchens. Aside from our lattes and double espressos, we do love a nice cuppa every now and then.
Ex-Vancouverite living in the UK
|Nicey replies: Ahh maybe it was a Canadian Kettle that was really responsible for the recent power outage. |
||The answer to the riddle of why Americans don't have electric kettles is that their electricity supply runs at 110 volts, not our 240 volts. This means that although a fatal electric shock is less likely to occur, you can't boil up the water for a nice cuppa!|
Catherine of Newport
PS I found out about your site from an old copy of the Sunday Times as I was lining the guinea pigs cage. Wonderful subject to have a site on!
|Nicey replies: I can't believe that about the voltage, I thought it was current flow that did the heating. That's how fuses work, too much current and they melt. Anyhow how would all their coffee machines work?
Nice to know that guinea pigs have slept on my face, one of the perks of being a biscuit critic I suppose.
I was saddened to hear in another letter of your horrific experience with USA tea. Perhaps you can help explain a further US mystery - the complete absence of the electric kettle. The US is a nation that can put people on the moon, build aircraft carrriers, compress cows between a bun, but the whole "hey, let's put a heating element inside the kettle" aquathermal revolution has passed them by. But why? Were electric kettles denounced as dangerously communist? Did it become a symbol of vicious British oppression during the War of Independence? Was Abraham Lincoln bitten by an electric kettle when young? Please help.
Puzzled of Hampton
|Nicey replies: I'm sure its most of those reasons. Perhaps we should get the Royal Navy to sail round in giant electric kettles, that would be excellent. Brittania might once again rule the waves if it were in a 300m long stainless steel Russell Hobbs or Morphy Richards. Of course we would need very long kettle leads.|
Just caught you on the latest B3TA. Nice interview, lovely pic. I was sorry to hear about your bad experience in San Jose, though. I can't believe that nobody warned you never, never to order tea in a restaurant in the US! For one thing, they usually don't have any good quality tea; and for another, the public consciousness in this country has not assimilated the idea that in order to make tea, the water has to be boiling -- not just "pretty hot."
The milk, of course, you should have ordered separately, pretending that you were going to drink it. This would still not have saved you from an aggravating experience.
The solution might be to bring along a "travel" tea kettle... if such a thing exists... My friend Rodney and I are looking into getting an electric tea kettle for our office, so maybe I will be able to give you a report on what's available at some later date.
|Nicey replies: Maggie,
Thanks for those words of encouragement.
There probably isn't an office in the UK that doesn't have an electric kettle. I like a nice Tefal or may be Morphy Richards. Woo, rate my kettle.